This Is What 'Super Mario' Looks Like at 380,000 Frames Per Second

It’s so slow you’re watching the scanline create the image.

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Jan 18 2018, 7:34pm

The technology that makes televisions possible is a miracle. Lights of varying types blast through pixels constructed of green, red, and blue colored lenses to create incredible moving images.

That movement is an illusion created when the television renders frames dozens of times every second, or hundreds of times if you’re using a high end PC monitor, which can render many more frames per second than a typical TV. Which begs the question—what if we could watch a game of Super Mario Bros. slowed down to, say, 380,000 frames per second and played it on an old TV? YouTubers The Slow Mo Guys did just that. Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy’s YouTube channel is all about using an expensive camera to slow things way, way down.

Their latest video tackles television technology and does a great job explaining how the technology behind America’s actual favorite pastime (baseball? C’mon, let’s be honest with ourselves) works. Then they train their slow-mo cameras on an old cathode ray tube television playing the original Super Mario Bros. and things get magical.

Old TVs render an image by actually drawing the entire frame from top to bottom at speeds so fast the human eye can’t detect it, but Free and Gruchy’s cameras can. Mario is almost indistinguishable at 380,000 FPS, but it’s amazing to watch beams of light shoot across a screen in slow motion, slowly building the Mushroom Kingdom we all know and love.

It’s amazing to watch the tech work while slowed down—and, by the way, old CRT televisions draw Mario’s mustache in less than 1/380,000th of a second.